Langley Times

Minister lauds importance of small businesses at Langley Chamber meeting

North Vancouver-Lonsdale MLA Naomi Yamamoto spoke about the importance of small business at last week’s Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce meeting. - Frank Bucholtz/Langley Times
North Vancouver-Lonsdale MLA Naomi Yamamoto spoke about the importance of small business at last week’s Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce meeting.
— image credit: Frank Bucholtz/Langley Times

Small business is important, and the minister responsible doesn’t want regulations getting in the way.

That was the message Naomi Yamamoto gave to members of Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce at their monthly meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 20. The North Vancouver-Lonsdale MLA is very familiar with chambers of commerce — she is a former small business owner and executive director of the North Vancouver chamber.

Yamamoto said 98 per cent of businesses in B.C. are small businesses, and many have five employers or less. In total, they employ over one million B.C. residents.

Even though all businesses have had challenges since the recession hit in 2008, Yamamoto said small businesses have been the most resilient. Large businesses have reduced employment levels by eight per cent since that time, while small businesses have reduced employment by just one-half per cent,  she said, showing that small businesses know the value of their employees.

She said one of her jobs is to oversee regulatory perform, and she wants to hear from business operators about “what regulations get in the way of your business.”

She asked that business people send her an email to tell them how regulations are impacting their business.

Her email address is naomi.yamamoto.mla@leg.bc.ca.

The BC Liberal government has reduced regulations by 42 per event since 2001, she said, taking 150,000 regulations off the books, “but we need to keep our foot on the gas and keep reducing red tape.”

She praised the Langley chamber for its persistence in lobbying for mobile business licences, and thanked the City and Township for their co-operation.

“This took leadership from the chamber and others,” she said.

Yamamoto is also working on a small business accord that will spell out rights and responsibilities. She calls it “a document that will hold government accountable to businesses.” She asked that those who wish to have input on it check out the small business accord website at http://www.bcjobsplan.ca/bc-small-business-accord-survey/

While she said that going back to the PST “is the worst thing we can do” (from a business perspective), she said the government respects the vote that was held and will be making information about the transition to the PST available.

“You will be inundated with information shortly,” she said.

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